How did Andre Drummond end up at UConn, concluding a whirlwind saga just before the school year began? According to a report on Saturday, UConn head coach Jim Calhoun pulled a few strings behind the scenes, within his own athletic department, to ensure space would be available for the highly-touted recruit. It involved freeing up a scholarship, moving a current player to financial aid, and letting Drummond know the Huskies had room and would love to have him.
ESPN's Andy Katz laid out the details, including which player may have been pushed aside to make room for Drummond.
Once it was determined that one player on the current roster -- a source told ESPN.com it is redshirt freshman Michael Bradley -- could possibly qualify for financial aid days before the fall semester begins this week, a call was made to Andre Drummond's camp that a possible scholarship was available.
To be clear, nothing Calhoun did was against the rules. Drummond made his own decision, but it's probably safe to say UConn wouldn't have been the choice had Calhoun not freed up a scholarship. However, the decision may raise other questions.
There's no doubt any coach in the country would've taken Drummond, and the last-minute nature of his decision to re-classify and join the class of 2011 was almost unprecedented, leaving coaches scrambling. But morally, taking a kid off scholarship days before the school year begins seems unsavory. It's the nature of the college game, especially when the opportunity to suddenly land an impact player arises, but it's still the ugly side of college basketball, as well.
Bradley, or whoever was taken off scholarship, will still receive financial aid and likely play as a walk-on. But it doesn't change the fact that the maneuvering, and a player losing his scholarship, just doesn't feel right.